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Slightly Foxed Issue 64
  • ISBN: 9781910898376
  • Pages: 96
  • Dimensions: 210 x 148mm
  • Illustrations: B/W
  • Publication date: 1 December 2019
  • Producer: Smith Settle
  • Cover Artist: Seren Bell, ‘Winter Cockerel’
  • ISSN: 1742-5794
Made in Britain

Slightly Foxed Issue 64

‘Accepting an Invitation’


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The independent-minded quarterly that combines good looks, good writing and a personal approach. Slightly Foxed introduces its readers to books that are no longer new and fashionable but have lasting appeal. Good-humoured, unpretentious and a bit eccentric, it’s more like a well-read friend than a literary magazine.

In this issue

Laurie Graham prepares for a Cradock-style Christmas • Charles Elliott picks up some 18th-century gossip • Daisy Hay accepts Joyce Grenfell’s invitation • D. J. Taylor finds romance in Ayrshire • Amanda Theunissen discovers there’s No Bed for BaconPatrick Welland rejoins the British Council • Maggie Fergusson discusses love and friendship with Rose Tremain • Oliver Pritchett tries not to repeat himself • Henry Jeffreys shares a cockpit with Roald Dahl • A. F. Harrold enters Joan Aiken’s parallel world, and much more besides . . .

Accepting an Invitation • DAISY HAY

Joyce Grenfell, Joyce Grenfell Requests the Pleasure

A Master of Invention • HENRY JEFFREYS

Roald Dahl, Going Solo

Thames Valley Blues • CHRIS SAUNDERS

Patrick Hamilton, The Slaves of Solitude

Playing it for Laughs • AMANDA THEUNISSEN

Caryl Brahms & S. J. Simon, Don’t, Mr Disraeli! & No Bed for Bacon

Ayrshire Romantic • D. J. TAYLOR

Gordon Williams, From Scenes Like These

The Fanny Factor • LAURIE GRAHAM

Fanny Cradock, Coping with Christmas

Anguish Revisited • POSY FALLOWFIELD

Elizabeth Bowen, The Death of the Heart

Love and Friendship • MAGGIE FERGUSSON

An interview with the novelist Rose Tremain

Have I Already Told You . . . ? • OLIVER PRITCHETT

James Sutherland (ed.), The Oxford Book of Literary Anecdotes

Airborne Division • MARTIN SORRELL

Joseph Kessel, The Crew

A Delight in Digression • DAVID SPILLER

Charles Lamb, Essays of Elia

Building Jerusalem • ALISON LIGHT

Ruth Adler, Beginning Again


T. H. White, The Age of Scandal & The Scandalmonger

All the World’s a Stage • HELEN RICHARDSON

Simon Callow, Being an Actor

Joan’s Books • A. F. HARROLD

The children’s books of Joan Aiken

Perilous Times • PATRICK WELLAND

Olivia Manning’s Levant trilogy

‘Slightly Foxed: or, the Widower of Bayswater’ • WILLIAM PLOMER

About Slightly Foxed

The independent-minded quarterly that combines good looks, good writing and a personal approach. Slightly Foxed introduces its readers to books that are no longer new and fashionable but have lasting appeal. Good-humoured, unpretentious and a bit eccentric, it’s more like a well-read friend than a literary magazine. Read more about Slightly Foxed.

‘Slightly Foxed is a very civilized way to appreciate books and writers. No shouting, no hype, just beautifully presented enthusiasms, most of which are irresistible.’ Michael Palin

‘A quarterly full of delights and articles about books new and old, published and out of print, beautifully illustrated and written by excellent authors.’ Random Jottings

‘The business of reading should please the hand and eye as well as the brain, and Slightly Foxed editions – books or quarterly – are elegant creations. Content follows form, offering new discoveries and old favourites to curious and discriminating readers. ’ Hilary Mantel

    Accepting an Invitation

    Reading Joyce Grenfell Requests the Pleasure this summer, the memory of my first acquaintance with her has been strong. I’ve heard the precise tones and emphases of her own reading in every line...

    Read more

    A Master of Invention

    We lived in Dahl’s world, my brother and I more literally than most children since we grew up a couple of miles from Gypsy House, his home in Great Missenden. As we drove past it my parents would...

    Read more

    Thames Valley Blues

    Patrick Hamilton, now best known for his novel Hangover Square and the play Gaslight, was a troubled man who is often seen as the court poet of shabby alcoholics and wandering drunkards. He is,...

    Read more

    Ayrshire Romantic

    The great wave of Romanticism that swept over Scottish literature from the mid-Victorian era onwards was always going to have its answering cry. This tendency was particularly marked among the group...

    Read more

    The Fanny Factor

    It was some time in the mid-Sixties when things began to change in my mother’s kitchen. First we got a fridge. Farewell mesh-doored meat safe, farewell flecks of curdled milk floating in your tea....

    Read more

    Anguish Revisited

    At boarding school in the late Sixties we had as our English teacher a Miss J. H. B. Jones. Coaxing us self-absorbed teenagers through the A-level syllabus she was diffident, patient and unassuming,...

    Read more

    Love and Friendship

    One summer’s evening, at the age of 13 or 14, Rose Tremain had what she describes as ‘an epiphany’. She had been playing tennis with friends at school, but was alone, when she was overcome with...

    Read more

    Have I Already Told You . . . ?

    Obviously, the telling of anecdotes can become a dangerous addiction; there’s the risk of becoming like the chap who has memorized a thousand jokes and relentlessly reels them off in the saloon...

    Read more

    Airborne Division

    Of all Richard Wagner’s music dramas, the one I know best is Tristan und Isolde, as do a lot of people, I imagine. I first came to it as an undergraduate, courtesy of the LPs lent me by my tutorial...

    Read more

    A Delight in Digression

    In the north London suburb of Edmonton where I grew up, virtually the only feature of note is Charles Lamb’s cottage in Church Street, which is marked with a blue plaque. The essayist lived there...

    Read more

    Building Jerusalem

    I met the novelist Ruth Adler thirty years ago. She was then in her eighties, an elegant, quietly spoken but forthright woman. For a while she had been, as my husband put it, one of his many mothers....

    Read more

    Great Gossips

    T. H. White (1906–64) was clearly a strange fellow, which should be evident to anyone who has read his books. The best known, of course, is his Arthurian epic, The Once and Future King (progenitor...

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    All the World's a Stage

    When I was a child, people of a certain age who met my father often remarked, ‘You look just like Simon Callow.’ I had no idea who Simon Callow was, so my father bought me his autobiography,...

    Read more

    Joan’s Books

    Joan Aiken was the daughter of the American poet laureate Conrad Aiken and the Canadian writer Jessie MacDonald, and two of her siblings also wrote books, so writing clearly ran in the family. From...

    Read more

    Perilous Times

    In the summer of 1974, the author Olivia Manning reread the transcript of a BBC radio talk she had given eleven years earlier about her arrival in Cairo in 1941 with her husband, Reggie Smith....

    Read more

    Slightly Foxed: or, the Widower of Bayswater

    Decades ago wits, poets and dukes Circled like planets round Gloria Jukes, Bluestocking, tuft-hunter, grande amoureuse – Was ever a salon brilliant as hers?

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    Playing it for Laughs

    You read a book, laugh a lot, recommend it to your friends. Some laugh, others don’t. Why is a sense of humour so individual and at the same time so culturally specific? We are mostly moved to the...

    Read more

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